Fire, Explosion Damage Lebanon, NH Hotel

LEBANON, New Hampshire (WBZ NewsRadio) — Several people, including two firefighters, were injured Tuesday morning in Lebanon, New Hampshire after a fire and explosion at the Element Hotel.

The Lebanon Fire Department said they responded to the hotel on Foothill Street shortly after 5 a.m., and investigated a "light odor of smoke and water" on the building's first floor.

While the responding crew was trying to get into the building's electrical room, an explosion went off that left two of the department members injured.

Firefighter Todd Hamilton suffered head injuries, a broken arm, and broken ribs, while Capt. Jeffrey Egner had a head injury. Both were taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Capt. Egner has been released.

Eight people who were inside the hotel were also taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock with minor injuries. Three guests had to be rescued by fire crews through windows on the first floor.

A fire in a utility room on the fifth floor was found and extinguished.

Nine departments and between 40-50 personnel responded, because of the size of the building—crews had to search a total of 129 hotel rooms.

Lebanon Fire said 80 guests and 3 staff members were present at the hotel at the time.

The hotel was severely damaged, and the department said it is no longer safe to enter.

The cause of the fire and explosion are still under investigation by the department and the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal's office.

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